It's the time of year when people want to start fresh. People recommit to their health in a number of new ways, including making New Year's Resolutions. Three years ago I made a resolution to start planning the family meals each week before heading off to the grocery store. I wanted to be eating and preparing healthier meals for my family and I was tired of eating the same meals week after week. I realized that I was stuck in this rut due to lack of planning. In our busy life a lack of time was always a factor. When we would arrive home at 5:30 and I had no plan for dinner, I would fall back on one of our standard options because they were quick and I knew I had the ingredients in the house. If I was going to break the cycle and prepare different and more nutritious meals, I was going to need to start planning ahead.
Meal planning is a critical component to achieving weight loss success and healthier eating habits. If your normal schedule and approach to meal time leaves your meals up to chance, it is far more difficult to come up with healthy and tasty options. You are much more likely to fall back on take-out or quick, less healthy options.
Meal planning and grocery shopping go hand in hand. Pick one day to go grocery
shopping for the upcoming week. Friday, Saturday or Sunday are logical days
that set you up for the following week. On the day prior to your designated
shopping day take a look at your schedule for the upcoming week and determine
how many meals you need to prepare and the complexity of each meal your
schedule will allow and then select the appropriate meals given your requirements. I have created a meal planning template for my clients to aide
them in this process. It is posted on my website and you are welcome to print it out and use it yourself.
Finally, on Sunday nights organize yourself for the week by preparing and packing meals and snacks ahead of time. Boil a dozen eggs for snacks and salads. Grill breasts of chicken for salads or burritos. Chop veggies for snacks and stir-fry's. Remember the quote: "Prior preparation prevents poor performance"?
Set yourself up for success!